The time for Bend, Oregon is now. Actually, it’s been for the past couple years but the central Oregon mountain town is enjoying a tenured heyday as a drink haven for outdoor enthusiasts and telecommuters, tourists and locals alike. Although the outskirts have premium luxury lodging outlets (see Tetherow, Black Butte Ranch near Sisters, Oregon and Sunriver Resort in Sunriver) for those tasting and touring the region, downtown Bend had been lacking in luxury real estate until The Oxford Hotel opened in the heart of the town.
The “eco-chic boutique hotel” brings sophistication to Bend’s rustic, outdoorsy vibe, with environmentally sound methods of exterior and interior decor and local, sustainable means from the on-site restaurant to the bedding and pet-friendly rooms. A wood-adorned and brightly lit lobby warmly welcomes guests in with contemporary upholstery, a fireplace-focused sitting area and local artwork hanging from the walls.
Once inside one of the 59 gracefully modern and tastefully simple rooms, guests can enjoy all the mandatory amenities one would expect from luxury accommodations, like an LCD flat screen TV, a broad work desk, iPod speakers, premium in-room French press coffee and tea services, plush bathrobes, opulent eco-friendly down comforter-coated Natura green mattresses and an organic pillow library. Many of the suites offer views of the mountains, but all windows lead to panoramas of downtown Bend. From the 570-square-foot Boutique Double Queen, a spacious and comfortable spread that features two Queen beds, kitchenette, living area and private bathroom, to the 780-square-foot Cascade Suite, which features a complete kitchen complete, extended living area and a private balcony with an amazing view of the Cascade Mountain Range, The Oxford has a room to find any range of housing musts.
Reservations of rooms also guarantee access to the state-of-the-art workout facility (plus spa, sauna and steam room) and use of the complimentary Oxford cruiser bikes (rented daily with reservation) or via the local shuttle (advanced notice required) to tour the town (aka brewery-hopping). Note: most of Bend is accessible within a 10-minute drive, 20-minute bike ride or 30-minute walk—when asking for directions, locals (including those at The Oxford) will give tourists detailed, street-by-street directions. Leave your Google Maps at home.
Serving organic cuisine three meals a day within the walls of The Oxford is 10 Below Restaurant and Lounge. Sporting a menu sourced from local producers with healthy, sustainable preparations, 10 Below dishes the classics for brunch with items like chicken and waffles, house made biscuits and gravy and four different locally-hatched Benedicts. For lunch, try the house made salmon burger with orange-guajillo aioli or, if in a bind for time, the 10-10-10 Monday-Friday, the daily selection of a four-course lunch, delivered tableside within 10 minutes. Happy hour happens twice daily at 10 Below, with dishes that range between $3 and $8, and cocktails that hardly push $5. Get wicked with the absinthe selection by going local with the Wild Card absinthe from Oregon Spirit Distillers or sip on a house signature like the Hip Hop Beer cocktail, with Bend Distillery Desert juniper gin, grapefruit juice, passion fruit puree and topped with Boneyard Brewery Double IPA, served on the rocks. At dinner, order smoked duck in one of two ways (in a quesadilla or in a salad), sample local cheeses with charcuterie and end with an entree of porcini powder-crusted scallops with mushroom compote or the 10 Burger, handmade with Oregon Valley Natural Beef and served with all the fixings.
Cap off the night with a half-block walk to The Stihl Whiskey Bar, home to more than 200 whiskeys and more. Owned and operated by lauded local barman, Jason Gartz, the highly skilled bartenders shake, stir and shoot cocktails worth venturing out for—like ANYTHING with a brown liquor base.
Snuggle back into the cozy, eco-conscious beds of The Oxford and enjoy sweet dreams of Bend, biking, bourbon and beer.